2021 Fall Mack Days: Week 8 Update
By angelamontana

Posted: November 8, 2021

The 2021 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes is nearing the end, we are in our final week, which will end on November 14th. It is not too late to enter this free event, there is Up to $200,000 in Cash and Prizes that will be awarded at the conclusion of the event.

A total of 12,939 lake trout entries have been entered to date.  The weekends total was 1,088 lake trout, on Friday 426 lake trout were turned in, on Saturday 462 lake trout were turned in, and on Sunday 200 lake trout were turned in. 

Anglers are bringing in lake trout trolling, jigging, and casting. Come out and try your favorite method of fishing on the lake. Help in this effort to restore the native fish populations on Flathead Lake. Flathead Lake historically was filled with native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout, people tell stories of watching the “flats” rising in the evenings in Big Arm Bay and what a beautiful sight it was. Elders have told about ice fishing out by Wildhorse Island and having to make larger holes in the ice to get the bull trout out.  Anglers out in boats caught bull trout that were large and fought valiant fights at the ends of twisting lines, there have been anglers from the Great Lakes are who have caught the bull trout we have today that say: Now we know why you are doing what you are doing. These bull trout are amazing to catch.  Time has brought changes to the system, some good and some bad.  Dams were built, non-native species were introduced, some flourished and then disappeared and some were here to stay, but the fishery of Flathead Lake was soon no longer a native Montana trout fishery.  The non-native lake trout had taken control and are now the dominant fish.  Let’s work together to find common ground and goals to move forward in preserving part of a Montana fishing heritage. These Mack Days events are used to reduce the numbers of the non-native lake trout in the lake.

There will be no fish fry or awards celebration again this year on the last day of this event, due to Covid.  Drawings will be done electronically on Monday by staff. Drawings begin at $50 and go to $2,000. Come out and join us for the last week to get some entries in before the end of the event.

Freddy Mack, the $10,000 tagged lake trout is no longer in the lake, Terry Krogstad of Kalispell caught one tagged fish during this event and it was Freddy Mack. But there are three $5,000 tagged lake trout and five $1,000 plus the over 9,000 with values from $100 to $500 left. Bretz RV and Marine is also sponsoring a $1,000 tagged lake trout for in store merchandise and they are the sponsor of the largest lake trout prize $500 for this event. Thank you to kayak angler Peter Dayton of Missoula for naming Freddy Mack and qualifying by turning in lake trout. 

Catching $100 tagged lake trout during week eight were: Richard Kreis of Huson, Julie Perkins of Kalispell, Jack Kirkland of Missoula, Don Peter of Missoula, and Larry Ashwell of Missoula.  Winning weekend drawings during week eight were: $200, Bill Swaney of New Town, ND.  $100 winners were Laurie Kreis of Huson, Larry Karper of Florence, Larry Ashwell of Missoula, and Bryon Long of Kalispell.

The last day of the three Bucket of Fish Days was on Sunday with Lonepine angler Mike Benson’s 29.216 bucket edging out Polson’s Jen Gran’s 29.2 bucket for first place. Third place went to Rick Skates of Polson with 23.1, fourth place was Richard and Laurie Kries of Huson with a 19.8 bucket, and fifth was a 13.6 bucket entered by Larry Ashwell of Missoula. Overall winners are Jens with 26 pts, 2nd place is Rick Skates with 24 pts, and third place is Mike Benson with 14 pts.

Julie Perkins leads the Ladies with 571, 2nd place is Laurie Kreis has 338, Kim Mack of Missoula is 3rd with 102, Gina Schiff of Whitefish is in fourth place with 76, and Debby Sacci of Thompson Falls has 51 for fifth place.  Leading 70 & Over is Florence angler Larry Karper with 685 lake trout entries, 2nd place is Jack Kirkland with 565, 3rd place is Larry Ashwell  with 524, 4th place is John Gauci of Florence with 476, and 5th place is Paul Grove of Wyoming, IL with 101.

The Top Ten Angler category has Mike Benson in first place with 1,021 lake trout entries and a 52.4 eighteen day average, 2nd place is Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 902 and a 49.94 average, 3rd place is Larry Karper with a 685 and 35.94 average, 4th place is Jack Kirkland with 565 and 29.61 average, 5th place is Terry Krogstad with 591 and a 29.5 average, 6th place is Scott Bombard of Missoula with 557 and a 28.55 average, 7th place is Julie Perkins with a 571 and 28.16 average, 8th place is Larry Ashwell with 524 and a 27.22 average, 9th place is Sam Cusker of Bigfork with 474 and a 26.11 average, and 10th place is John Gauci with 476 and 25.55 average.

Wyatt Best of Florence is first in the 12 & Under Category with 5 entries and in second is Brynn Blowers of Missoula with 3. Blake Williams of Big Arm leads the 13-17 Category with 9, 2nd-Ashlin Peters of Polson with 2, and 3rd Kaden Blowers of Missoula with 1.  Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Go to the website www.mackdays.com or call (406) 270-3386 to find all the information on the event, fish ID, weather, entries, etc.

Tight lines everyone!